Keyword research, what is it good for? Ask a disillusioned blogger and the answer will likely be “absolutely nothing.” Some bloggers feel that keyword research kills their creativity. And I can understand their point. If all you do is spend time agonizing over search volume, SEO plugins, title tags, and headings — that can be a buzz kill.
But keyword research is still important, as long as you don’t stress over it! Don’t spend hours searching through the Adwords Keyword Planner for the perfect phrase. Each article you write should only focus on one or two keyword phrases anyway. If you just relax and write about a topic that appeals to your customers and prospects, the “keywords” will happen naturally.
Remember, a business blog should focus on the wants and needs of your prospects. When I speak to networking groups about blogging, I emphasize the “Golden Rule” that I first learned about from Marcus Sheridan. That rule is, “They ask, you answer.” As long as you write articles that deal with your customers’ questions, you’ll be golden!
How does keyword research fit into this strategy?
Let’s pretend you’re going to write a new article for your company’s blog. What do you do first?
Ideally, you should consult your editorial calendar for the topic idea. Once you find your topic, write a paragraph or two just to start fleshing out the idea. The goal is to get your creative juices flowing, and see if a couple of keyword ideas pop out.
Next, go to your favorite free keyword tool or the Adwords Keyword Planner. Plug in your topic and your initial keyword ideas. Look for terms that have decent search volume, AND will make sense to include in the article. Take note of the best three or four terms.
Go back to your article and write those keywords at the top of the page.
Now, finish writing the first draft. When you’re done, review the keywords at the top of the page, and see if you included them in the article.
If so, great!
If not, don’t worry. It’s not the end of the world. Those keywords may not have made sense to use after all.
Here’s a tip: Read your copy out loud. Our eyes play tricks on us. And things always sound different out loud than they do in our heads.
Once you read the article, you may find that you can swap out a phrase for one of your chosen keywords. You might be able to use one or two keywords as subheads or in the article title.
For more tips on how to make your website irresistible to your target audience, download my free eBook, “7 Essential Web Content Elements that Really Ignite Results.”